365 Things to Look Forward to – Number 22: Old Songs

22. Old Songs

Call me sentimental if you want, but listening to old songs can really give me a boost. By old songs, I mean anything from the 70s and early.

Really, old songs are musical. They have decent lyrics, the majority of them, at least, and you can actually sing to them. Also, most of the words mean something–there’s a story or something else there. It’s sheer poetry in some cases. I’ve heard contemporary songs that I wouldn’t call songs, with music that I wouldn’t call music. And how is the endless repetition of an inane word or phrase over and over and over again meaningful or nice to listen to?

Those of you who like today’s music will have to excuse me. I’d rather listen to Astrud Gilberto, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Bread, The Cascades, The Carpenters, Barry Manilow (yes, I’m not afraid to admit it!), Jim Croce, Don McLean, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Neil Diamond, Chicago, Abba, and singers and groups of that mettle. I suppose it’s music I can identify with, since I listened to my transistor radio every minute of every day that I could, and that was the music that was playing then. Still, I try to listen to the radio today, mostly at work where the young people are around, and I just cannot appreciate their music, except for some occasional lyrical selections. But those are few and far between.

Even more quaint are songs from before the 70s, particularly from the 50s and 60s, which was music my dad liked to listen to. I just love music by Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and other singers from that generation. They sang, they crooned, they wooed, and women swooned. I even like Elvis Presley, The Beatles (most of their songs, anyway), Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and more. I don’t even know half the names of the singers or half the titles of their songs, but I love listening to the music. There’s also the folk and country music from that period that you just can’t beat, and some of my favorites in that area are Simon and Garfunkel, and John Denver.

It was only when I started spending more time out of the house than at home that I stopped listening to that music, because I’d usually end up watching TV or going straight to bed when I got home. Now, I’m home most of the time–or at least a good deal of the time and I have time to listen to music again. And thanks to the Internet, I can easily find all the old songs! All I have to do is remember the title (which I usually don’t know) or the singer (many of whom I don’t know the names of–I’d lose any contest with the title “who sang the song???”) or some lyrics (at least 3 words) which is how I have found a lot of the more obscure songs!

And now, I have a playlist that will last me at least 24 hours of those songs from the 70s and thereabouts. I have a 40s playlist, as well as a 50s-60s. I have old jazz music from the 20s to the 80s (nothing can beat Kenny G for relaxing music) and as far as jazz songs are concerned, well, there are so many…I just don’t know the names! (Billie Holiday is one…or is it Halliday? what the heck…I still listen to the music).

That isn’t everything I listen to, of course, as I have collections of broadway, classics and new age music. I left about 250 cassette tapes when I left the Philippines. Now, I’m building up my collection of CD music, as well as old music I find on the Internet. When I discovered that, I became nearly manic, just looking for song after song after song and getting all titillated at the pleasure of hearing some of my old favorites.

And that’s what’s playing in the background now.

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